Democrats vote down special election for Roland Burris Senate seat

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by leekohler, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #1
    For those who say we never criticize Democrats, here's one for you. The Republicans are right on this one. We should be having a special election.

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com...l-election-for-roland-burris-senate-seat.html

     
  2. pooky macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Good lord, and they even played the race card. Shameful. It comes across as nothing more than partisanship -- fear they will lose the seat to a Republican.
     
  3. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #3
    So this should be considered a token criticism, then?
     
  4. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    That's exactly what it is. If they keep pulling this crap, that's exactly what will happen anyway.

    No- and you should know better. Have anything of value to add, or just snide comments?
     
  5. JG271 macrumors 6502a

    JG271

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    #5
    That is a shame - here, if an MP resigns or dies a special election is always held in that constituency. It only seems logical to me, especially in the controversial situation in which Roland Burris was appointed.

    Is the appointing of vacant senate seats by the governor of that state written in the constitution?
     
  6. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    Having been an opponent of Burris' appointment to begin with, I couldn't agree more. Blagojevich should have been impeached sooner and prevented from appointing him.

    And it is in state law that this is how Senators are appointed in this case.
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    This is in no way a defense of the Illinois Democrats, who have handled this poorly from the start, but...

    I thought the objection to a special election in this current economic climate was that it would cost the state a whole ****pile of money that they don't have? The last time I heard, Democrats wanted to strap this special election on to an election that was already going forward so that removing Burris didn't cost the people of Illinois a bunch of money?

    Democrats aren't objecting to this on the grounds that they like Burris and want him to serve out his six year term, are they?
     
  8. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #8
    Mac- it's obvious what they're afraid of. They don't want to lose the seat to a Republican. It has far less to do with money than it does with partisanship. That should be obvious from how the vote went down.
     
  9. JG271 macrumors 6502a

    JG271

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    #9
    Yep - democracy should prevail, whatever the cost. To be honest, it won't be much compared to the spending going on right now, even during a recession. Either that or make Blago pay for it:p
     
  10. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #10
    How many criticisms must be made to get beyond token? Several? Maybe a baker's dozen?
     
  11. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    I like that idea.

    The threads I've started criticizing Blagojevich and Burris should be enough to cover that all by themselves.
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    Is the seat really that vulnerable? I thought the Democrats had the early edge.
    I realize there is a "favorite son" effect here, but Obama crushed McCain statewide by like 25 points, and Illinois has a PVI of D+8.5. I have a hard time believing that Democrats are really all that scared of a statewide election.

    I mean, that still doesn't mean they aren't afraid of losing the seat, but surely they have to know at this point that allowing Burris to run in 2010 would be the best way to lose the seat to a Republican, right?

    And really... you're telling me that Illinois doesn't have better things to do with $50,000,000.00 these days?
     
  13. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #13
    I hope they get rid of Burris at the very least, but I still think because of the circumstances surrounding this, an election should be held. Not allowing it stinks to high heaven of partisanship.

    That said, Shakowsky or Giannoulias would both have great chances to win in a special election. The only thing worse than a Democrat in Illinois is a Republican. That's how screwed up our politics are here.
     
  14. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #14
    It's a filthy business, to be sure.

    I think Blago chose Burris partly because he is black, reasoning that this would make him more difficult to remove. Burris' associations with Blago taint him politically and the logical choice is to be rid of him, less because of his own politics and history (which are a bit sketchy themselves), but the manner in which he made it to the senate.

    Having a special election is the right thing to do from a political standpoint. The economic argument against it resonates in the current financial climate, but I think the situation demands a firm solution.

    And as for the fear of losing a seat to the GOP - well, if the election is fair and the new candidates are more or lest honest, I'd rather have an honest Republican in that seat than a corrupt Democrat. The latter might help out the party on a national level, but would surely hurt us in other ways.
     
  15. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #15
    I agree, in a perfect world Burris would be removed and a special election would be held to fill his seat. But $50 million is a lot of money to spend right now, and I think Illinois could find better things to do with that money.

    Personally I'd like to see Senatorial appointments go away, and have them replaced with special elections. But when cost is a factor, then I'd like to see a placeholder appointed until the next scheduled statewide election. Such placeholder would agree not to run for the seat at least until the next opportunity after the special election.
     
  16. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #16
    The Obama administration had already worked out such a placeholder deal when Gregg was nominated to the cabinet (and before he pulled out, the coward :rolleyes:). So it's certainly feasible.
     
  17. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #17
    It's entirely feasible. How many citizens would gladly jump at the chance to spend a little time holding public office?

    The party leaders don't like it because it deprives them of the opportunity to install their choice for the seat who can then use the power of incumbency to retain their seat.

    Personally, I'd like to see the power of incumbency diluted as much as possible, as well as the power of a single individual to appoint people to a seat that they could end up holding for decades.

    Really, the best solution here may be to simply oust Burris and let the seat remain empty for a while. I wonder when the next scheduled statewide election there is.
     
  18. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #18
    Is that legal? Can they legally have an open seat in the senate for a few years?
     
  19. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #19
    It would be relatively low-risk for the Democrats, who hold a large (though not filibuster-proof) majority at the moment.

    However, one could also argue that this would deprive the people of Illinois of some of their representation in congress, which would be true.

    A third option is to let Burris continue in office but keep him muzzled, so that he is nominally occupying a seat but not really doing anything. Which is probably what is going on right now.

    Technically no, but it can be done with enough stalling. I don't advocate it myself.
     
  20. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #20
    It was the race card that embarrassed Democrat leadership to seat him, it will be race that keeps him too.

    Simply put, they boxed themselves in and deserve it. The guy is crooked but then again that is Illinois politics for ya
     
  21. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #21
    I blame Rod B., not the Democratic party.
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #22
    Well, it wouldn't be years. The latest I could possibly imagine would be about a year when the 2010 primaries are held in the spring.

    I don't know about the legality of it all, but I do know that the citizens of Minnesota have been without a Senator for nearly two months now, and no one has claimed that it is illegal for the seat to remain open until Coleman finally admits defeat.

    Nothing surrounding Burris will change the Democrats advantage to fillibuster-proof. Stay or go, the GOP still has the ability to get 41 votes if they can keep their caucus together.

    That's true, and is the big downside to simply booting Burris without replacing him. That's why I think the placeholder option is so attractive. The people of Illinois would have full representation in the Senate, and they wouldn't have to spend $50 million to get it.

    That's probably what will end up happening, but I think having someone like Burris holding that seat is actually worse for the people of Illinois than for the seat to remain open. Everyone (except Burris apparently) knows Burris is a dead man walking at this point. Anything he does will need to be tightly scrutinized, and will automatically be highly suspect. Leave him there long enough, and you're likely to have a mess to clean up that will be worse than if you hadn't had anyone in the seat to begin with.
     
  23. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    This is true, though, I must say, I feel less bad about Burris in the senate than the legitimately-elected Strom Thurmond, when he was there.
     
  24. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    That $50M would create a lot of immediate short term jobs...
     
  25. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #25
    Actually it really doesn't matter to me. Leek's post of "For those who say we never criticize Democrats, here's one for you." is token. If anyone feels the need to supplement their credibility by posting criticisms of their revered political affiliation, so be it.

    So please continue. I wouldn't want to see this thread derailed. :)
     

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